Treatment appointments for young children and those who require sedation will be scheduled in the morning hours. We have found treatment appointments are easier when your child, the doctor, and the staff are fresh.
Recall appointments are made six months in advance, at the time of the visit, for your convenience. We highly recommend setting up the recall appointment at the time of service, especially afternoon appointments, since appointments are scheduled six months in advance.
If you are unable to keep your appointment or will be late, please call the office. If we are not available to take your call, please leave a message with our exchange. There may be an additional charge for appointments broken without a 24-hour notice. We make every effort to stay on schedule. Please help us by being prompt for your appointment. If you are over 10 minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment. If you have to wait more than 15 minutes, please ask our staff the reason for the delay.
There are occasions when more time is required for a child than we have scheduled. We make every effort to be on time, but please remember we run on children’s time, not adult time. We ask for your patience and understanding.
We ask parents with children under the age of 18 remain on the premises during their treatment time or provide a contact number.
Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?
You are always welcome to stay with your child during his or her visits. We ask parents with children under the age of 18 remain on the premises during their treatment time or provide a contact number.
What About Finances?
Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards.
Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance
If we have received all of your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 90 days, whether insurance has paid or not. If you have not paid your balance within 90 days a finance charge of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you once insurance has paid us.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment, we at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also can not be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance, once again we file claims as a courtesy to you.
Fact 1: NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%–100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.
Fact 2: BENEFITS ARE NOT DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist’s actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist’s fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee (“UCR”) used by the company.
A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate.
Insurance companies set their own schedules and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the “allowable” UCR Fee. Frequently this data can be three to five years old and these “allowable” fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.
Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is “overcharging” rather than say that they are “underpaying” or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.
Fact 3: DEDUCTIBLES & CO-PAYMENTS MUST BE CONSIDERED When estimating dental benefits, deductibles and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you), on average $50, is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 (to be paid by the patient). Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50% then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.